INTERNATIONAL FALL GUY

Hey, boys and girls, no more need for those old "the dog ate my homework" or "my cell phone couldn't get reception" excuses that have become thinner than the zombie-like Olsen twins.

Now if you need an excuse, simply blame Iran! For everything! All the time! Even if it doesn't pass the laugh test. Because you can be sure that the corporate media will swallow it without even examining the contents.

P&J are referring to the saber-rattling now going on among Washington armchair generals who want to attack Iran because it is developing nuclear weapons (Pakistan is already there, but Iran has oil); oppresses its people (so does North Korea, but Iran has oil); and might, just might, block the Strait of Hormuz, an important link in the global oil chain, in response to the West's new regime of economic sanctions (well, now we're getting closer to the truth).

Wait until the Defense Department argues that Iran is about to nuke Israel and we have to step in — those gulping sounds you hear will be Brian Williams, Scott Pelley, and Diane Sawyer sucking that premise down whole, while the Fox News team of Ailes-memo morons plays war drums in the background.

And isn't it convenient that our sudden concern over Iran and its possible oil blockade demands increased drilling and fracking at home so we can keep topping off the tanks of our Cadillac Escalades? Four-fifty a gallon? Those feckin' Iranians!

Getting the biggest laugh off of all are the stock market speculators and commodities brokers who had to step over those vagrant Occupyers this fall on their way to dizzying profits.

When it comes down to the choice between heat or eat this winter, be sure to blame the Iranians. Wall Street and Congress will thank you.


A SMALL STEP FORWARD

While tweaking Rhode Island's new civil unions law will certainly not be at the top of the General Assembly's agenda for this year, P&J believe that the legislature must take one important step: repeal the Corvese Amendment, which allows religiously affiliated institutions to ignore the law.

Of course, your superior correspondents stand by the activists who believe we should have a full-fledged, same-sex marriage law in the state. But since civil unions is what we have, it ought to at least be fair and the Corvese Amendment undercuts the fairness. Let's get this done, folks. It's a no-brainer.


ONE STEP BACKWARDS

A front page story in Tuesday's Other Paper revealed that a new Providence ordinance, passed unanimously by the City Council and signed by Mayor Taveras, will "generally" exclude those younger than 18 from city nightclubs. While the city has been attempting to attract visitors (and their money) to Providence by fostering a rich cultural life, there is still the niggling problem of underage drinking and rowdyism that crops up primarily when the clubs close.

There have been some thoughtful and (seemingly) effective ideas to maintain order, such as staggering the closing times at different clubs. But this current ordinance is rife with problems. Among other things, it ignores the fact that a number of clubs have put on "all-ages shows," sans alcohol, that have been successful and made money.

Most confusing is an exemption in the ordinance for live music venues, as opposed to dance clubs with pre-recorded music. Huh? This is flaky stuff.

The real question is, do we want a city with a lively nightlife or not? The council should answer in the affirmative and direct its lawmaking energies appropriately.

Send waffles and Pulitzer-grade tips to  p&j@phx.com.

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